Is underdog status exactly what the Packers need to unlock their potential?

The Packers are double-digit underdogs for the first time ever under quarterback Aaron Rodgers, as Green Bay prepares to face the Bills in prime time in Buffalo. Could that be exactly what the Packers need in order to emerge from their current funk?

Rodgers thinks so. Consider his comments from during the week: “I just think that sometimes when you’re in a rut, and you’ve lost some games in a row, it’s not a bad thing to kind of embrace that underdog role, embrace the fact that no one’s expecting you to win, and in that scenario you can maybe play a little freer. Maybe the pressure loosens up a little bit. Maybe in your mind you can slow things down a little bit. I know that’s what I’ll be doing this week and hopefully a lot of the guys as well.”

I’ve been saying for awhile now that the Packers could actually be more dangerous in the playoffs if they’re not the No. 1 seed, again. That entering as a low seed with low expectations could cause them to be loose and free. As the top seed, they’ve been too tight and tentative. (Not coincidentally, their only Super Bowl win under Rodgers came as the No. 6 seed in 2010.)

Chris Simms is a firm believer that, in the postseason, Rodgers becomes too careful with his throws, not taking chances because he apparently fears screwing things up. But now Rodgers is playing that way during the 2022 regular season, for some reason.

Here’s a theory that we’ve mentioned on PFT Live. In the debate regarding the greatest quarterback of all time, the argument for Rodgers is based not on championships or all-time records but specific, eye-popping metrics flowing from minimal bad things and maximum good things. And so Rodgers, since he can’t trust his current receivers to help him to maximize the good things, has to take special care to minimize the bad things. Otherwise, what could be his final season will undermine his strongest argument for GOAT status.

If Rodgers hopes to retire with a second Lombardi Trophy, however, he needs to forget about his uncanny touchdown-to-interception ratio and just it fly. If he hopes to lead the Packers to a win in Buffalo, that mindset needs to take root tonight.

Is underdog status exactly what the Packers need to unlock their potential? originally appeared on Pro Football Talk